Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The November Man Movie Review

Pierce Brosnan stars in The November Man

Solitary Man

It's not easy letting go. Pierce Brosnan last played James Bond in 2002's Die Another Day; but he clearly hasn't gotten it out of his system. So what's a 61-year-old "action" star to do? Evidently, hook up with a former director (Dante's Peak's Roger Donaldson) and pretend to be 007 (minus the big budget, strong supporting cast, etc.) Uh oh, sounds like a bad idea. Unfortunately the finished product... The November Man is even worse.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Code named 'The November Man', Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is a lethal and highly trained ex-CIA agent, who has been enjoying a quiet life in Switzerland. When Devereaux is lured out of retirement for one last mission, he must protect valuable witness, Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko.) He soon uncovers this assignment marks him a target of his former friend and CIA protégé David Mason (Luke Bracey.) With growing suspicions of a mole in the agency, there is no one Devereaux can trust, no rules and no holds barred. With a screenplay by Michael Finch & Karl Gajdusek based on Bill Granger's novel "There are No Spies" from the bestselling November Man book series, THE NOVEMBER MAN is the ultimate cat and mouse game set in the world of international espionage. Directed by Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job, No Way Out, Thirteen Days), the film is produced by Beau St. Clair of Irish DreamTime and Sriram Das of Das Films.

What’s Best: While those around him teeter on the edge of awfulness, Brosnan somehow manages to keep a straight face. That alone, is worth a pat on the back; but the Irish-born star doesn't stop there. He lends a level of legitimacy to this hot mess of a movie, ultimately protecting it from a failing grade. That doesn't mean I bought into the whole "I'm still an action hero" routine: He looks a tad silly, running around (semi-attractive woman in tow) shooting bad guys, and setting off explosions. Perhaps it's time to play an assassin again (remember The Matador?) and leave the running around to guys like Daniel Craig and Tom Cruise.

What’s Not: Everyone else. Seriously, everyone else in this movie is downright terrible. Olga Kurylenko looks years removed from being a hottie, and her acting is still awful. Luke Bracey's performance is sooo bad... I'm starting to get real nervous about next year's Point Break. This guy's gonna play Johnny Utah. Johnny Utah!

Shall I continue? Bill Smitrovich looks years older than he is (67.) Will Patton's hair, and Dragan Marinković's uncanny resemblance to Sammy Hagar (not a compliment.) Then there's Donaldson's shoddy direction (including ridiculous slo-mos) jive accents, suspect plot and a constant fax machine sound that's either part of the worst soundtrack in the history of film... or a speaker system gone astray at AMC Georgetown.

Best Line: Devereaux calls Mason on his mobile, and seems surprised, 'I can't believe you have the same phone number.' So much for common sense; but then again, we're talking about the Central Intelligence Agency. A close second? Bill Smitrovich's crude (yet direct) answer to a female interrogator, 'Show me your tits.' Classy.

Overall: Brosnan's Devereaux remarks, 'This is humiliating, embarrassing.' He wasn't kidding. The November Man is low-grade, with characters so uninteresting... you can't remember any of their names. Denisov. Fedorov. Ulanova. Coca Cola. What difference does it make? 108 minutes takes forever, especially when you can count the good minutes on one hand. That said, there was actually some applause from the audience at the film's conclusion. I can only hope it was because it was finally over.

GradeD- (half a letter grade for Brosnan.)